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Catholic Weddings

Catholic vow renewal?

Obviously I'm not even married yet, so I'm not planning a vow renewal, but with all the talk about vow renewals on the other boards, I was just curious as to how a Catholic would have a vow renewal if they wanted one.

I'm not talking about convalidations... completely different thing.

But just out of curiosity, if a Catholic had a Catholic wedding, and years later they wanted to renew their vows, would this be a religious thing, like in a church with a priest, or could they do it anywhere with anyone?

Renewing your vows doesn't seem to really fit in with the idea of marriage in the Catholic church, so it seems kind of weird, but I've never heard that it's prohibited or anything.  So if a Catholic did want to do that, what would be proper decorum?

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Re: Catholic vow renewal?

  • I've seen this at regular Sunday Masses where the couple is like celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary or something. (So, it's not prohibited, but I imagine many priests would wonder why you wanted to do something in a less traditional time-frame, like 5 years or something.)
    Anniversary
  • When my parents had their 25 year anniversary, there was a ceremony at the Cathedral for vow renewals.  I was 5 years old or something, so I don't really remember it except that it was SUPER long and boring and I was upset I couldn't sit with my Mom.  Other than that, I've never really had personal experience with Catholic vow renewal.

     

  • my father's cousin did a renewal at their church with their priest.  it was after the saturday evening mass, and it was for their 50th.

    i personally think vow renewals are stupid and pointless if done before a MAJOR landmark year.  i would even think doing it at 25 would be too soon, unless you are a couple that married in your 40's who then might never reach 50 years due to age (or if you did, not be in well enough health do do a renewal/celebration).

    the vow renewals i see on other boards is just a mask for wanting a party.  IMO, they have nothing to do with the ceremony or wanting to renew/reaffirm vows.  these people simply didnt get hte party or wedding they wanted the first time and they want a do-over. 
  • My grandparents did a vow renewal for their 40th (we weren't sure my grandfather was going to make it to their 50th...but he did and is still hang in with us!).  They did it at a regular Sunday mass and then we had a casual luncheon at their house.  It was pretty low key.
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  • My grandparents did a huge thing during mass one time for their 50th.  For their 60th, 65th and 66th (66th was their last, when Gpa was moved to the nursing home) the priest did a small private renwal.  I know that's not the norm, but it was cute. My grandparents were madly in love until the day Gpa died.
  • Our church back in Dallas has a Valentine's couples' dinner that ends with a vow renewal ceremony.  H and I went back before we were married and had no idea it was going to happen.  We ended up being the only unmarried couple there!
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  • From most of your stories, it seems like it usually only happens on big milestone anniversaries (25 or 50), and is part of or an extension of the normal mass.

    I can definitely see that.  Just curious as to if there are any normal decorum rules for catholic vow renewals, and what would the liturgy even look like?  It obviously wouldn't be the same as a wedding, and it seems weird to just create a liturgy for it.

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  • When I've seen it, it's just been like a regular Sunday Mass, but then at the time when the vows would be during a wedding Mass, the couple gets up and says them. (after the homily.) I don't remember if they do any of the extra nuptial blessings or anything, but I'm sure there's usually at least a mention of them in the prayers of the faithful.
    Anniversary
  • My grandparents also had one for their 50th Wedding Anniversary. I am not sure if this was part of a regular Sat evening mass or if it was a special mass just for them. I remember the vast majority of the people that were there were there specifically for their vow renewal (but they know quite a few people at their church and 5pm on Sat is usually pretty dead). Many of their kids, grandkids, siblings, and nieces and nephews came into town for specifically for the vow renewal and 50th anniversary party.

    Maybe the vow renewal was after mass? Kind of like how they sometimes do baptisms after mass. I remember the priest saying a few things about my grandparents and then they repeated their vows and exchanged a kiss. But they did this seated in their usual handicap section of the church.

    We also had a big reception/party with a plated dinner and band. It was nice to get everyone together since my family is spread across the country and rarely would my grandparents get to see all those people.
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  • My parents did it for their 50th. We had a "private" mass (not really private, anyone could have come in) scheduled for family and friends. My friends, brother, and I played music for it. We hd it in our daily mass chapel which seats 60. They did the "vows" in the normal place after the homily. Mom's sister and Dad's brother were their maid of honor and best man, and they were there too to stand up with them.  The vows are altered slightly like "I continue to take you as my husband" or something like that. 

    No procession except the priest. Low key and chill. Very nice. 




  • My parents did it for their 50th. We had a "private" mass (not really private, anyone could have come in) scheduled for family and friends. My friends, brother, and I played music for it. We hd it in our daily mass chapel which seats 60. They did the "vows" in the normal place after the homily. Mom's sister and Dad's brother were their maid of honor and best man, and they were there too to stand up with them.  The vows are altered slightly like "I continue to take you as my husband" or something like that. 

    No procession except the priest. Low key and chill. Very nice. 



  • Just did this to celebrate 25 years. Our venue had a beautiful space for the ceremony. We had one reading, the Gospel, a homily, prayers of the faithful and the Lords prayer. A renewal is non-sacramental, so no issue doing it outside church. Technically it was a prayer service and we did not have communion. Many relatives commented on how Catholic it was, but I don't think it was uncomfortable for our non Catholic friends. Start to finish it was 25 minutes and just what we wanted.
  • In Response to Re: Catholic vow renewal?:
    Just did this to celebrate 25 years. Our venue had a beautiful space for the ceremony. We had one reading, the Gospel, a homily, prayers of the faithful and the Lords prayer. A renewal is non-sacramental, so no issue doing it outside church. Technically it was a prayer service and we did not have communion. Many relatives commented on how Catholic it was, but I don't think it was uncomfortable for our non Catholic friends. Start to finish it was 25 minutes and just what we wanted.
    Posted by akp87
    It sounds lovely!  Even though it was in a secular space, I'm assuming you still had a priest or deacon presiding? 


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  • Yes. Our pastor was very happy to officiate. We got together about ten days before to plan the service and he was totally flexible in what we wanted to do. The only thing he really wanted was to add a refection song after the reading. No problem there! He also asked that we provide lyrics to the songs we chose so he could weave those themes into his homily.
  • In our parish, there was recently a "renewal" during Sunday mass.  They did not refer to is as a vow renewal, but rather a blessing upon their marriage.  It was their 25th anniversary.  
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